News Alert: The Texas International Education Consortium Partners with American University of Iraq, Sulaimani to Build Capacity for Gender Inclusive and Streamlined Degree Programs


[AUSTIN – Nov. 30, 2020] — The Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) will partner with American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) to support AUIS in their mission to advance an enhanced curriculum that prioritizes the robust integration of gender and diversity, as well as developing more marketable degrees. The program contributes to a wider effort by the U.S. Government to support American-style higher education in Iraq as part of its long-term stabilization strategy. COVID-19 has made a challenging higher-education environment even more difficult. Through this program, Texas will serve as a major partner in delivering high-quality education that instills the ideals of peace and tolerance to Iraqi-youth.

TIEC has curated a team of faculty and administrators from Texas A&M University – College Station, Lamar University, Southern Methodist University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, Texas Woman’s University, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Dallas, Navarro College, and the University of North Texas with expertise in instructional design, curriculum development, evaluation, gender, and soft skills development to participate in this project and foster working relationships with AUIS faculty.

“TIEC hopes higher-education partnerships grow as a pillar of the U.S.-Iraq relationship. Texas has so much to share and to gain through these robust people-to-people ties,” said Robin J. Lerner, TIEC president and CEO. “TIEC is proud to partner with AUIS to enhance course quality and promote a gender-inclusive and diverse curriculum within the university.”

Together, TIEC and AUIS will build a university-wide approach to support academic programs and courses that adapt and improve over time. This sustainable academic model will meet the goal of attracting a diverse student body that ultimately contributes to a global workforce that promotes tolerance, community resilience, and economic development.

Additionally, AUIS faculty will embark on a two-week Global Educational Leadership Tour in Texas to participate in a multitude of activities, including seminars, university and industry visits, and cultural excursions. The exchange will provide Iraqi faculty with experiential knowledge of American-style higher education and American culture, while strengthening relationships with U.S. faculty.

“The collaboration with TIEC provides us with an excellent opportunity to further refine our academic programs. Having access to cutting-edge expertise and innovation through TIEC’s world-renowned consortium members will support ongoing AUIS efforts to align all curricula with leading benchmarks. This does not only allow us to meet regional and international labor-market needs and global accreditation requirements, but it also ensures our students receive the very best education possible,” said Dr. Wolfgang Hinck, AUIS Vice President of Academic Affairs.

TIEC is thrilled to work with advisory board members:

Dr. Meranda Roy, Online Learning Librarian, University of North Texas

Dr. Jian Zhang, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Texas Woman’s University

Dr. Valerie Hudson, University Distinguished Professor and George H. W. Bush Chair, Professor of International Affairs, Texas A&M – College Station
Dr. Choman Hardi, Founder and Director of the Center for Gender and Development Studies, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

Dr. Krystal Hinerman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Research for the Center for Doctoral Studies in the College of Education, Lamar University

Dr. Linda Timmerman, Adjunct Professor of English, Navarro College

The project is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Learn more at or contact Anna Charnitski, director of marketing and communications, Texas International Education Consortium, at, or Delawit Mesfin, director of communications, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, at


About The Texas International Education Consortium:

The Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) is an alliance of 31 public universities in Texas that facilitates and fosters international education programs and partnerships by, with, and for its university members. Since 1985, TIEC has connected Texas education with the world. From facilitating long-term institutional partnerships to identifying new and innovative professional and educational hosting opportunities, TIEC is an invaluable resource to Texas higher education. TIEC also hosts a highly respected training institute based at its headquarters in Austin that hosts study abroad programs, professional training programs for educators from around the globe, intensive English and university pathways programs for international students, and university to university matchmaking programs between TIEC  members and international counterparts.

 For more information, visit For examples of our programs, visit the TIEC Gazette.

 About American University of Iraq, Sulaimani:

American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is the first non-governmental, not-for-profit, American-style university in Iraq. Founded in 2007 and operated for the public benefit, it is also the first non-governmental university in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to be accredited by both the federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. It is the only certified member in Iraq of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU). The University welcomes students, 35 percent of whom are women, from diverse communities throughout Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

 For more information, visit .


Anna Charnitski, Texas International Education Consortium , (512) 600-6066

Delawit Mesfin, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), +964-771-156-7123